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GEN News Highlights : Feb 29, 2012

Avaxia Taps Courtagen for Technology to Evaluate Oral Antibody for Radiation Damage

A quantitative screening assay will be developed based on Courtagen’s protein biomarker platform.

Courtagen Life Sciences inked a deal with Avaxia Biologics to develop an assay that can streamline the development of an oral antibody therapy to mitigate the gastrointestinal damage that follows radiation exposure, which could occur after a nuclear incident. Courtagen’s Avantra® Q400 protein biomarker platform will be used to evaluate Avaxia’s treatment in animal models and, ultimately, in patients.

“The unmatched sensitivity, accuracy, and ease of use of Courtagen’s Avantra Q400 protein biomarker technology combined with Avaxia’s novel oral anti-TNF therapy will enable Avaxia to quickly stratify and monitor various therapeutic interventions that will eventually lead to the creation of a treatment for gastrointestinal damage,” says Brendan McKernan, president of Courtagen.

Courtagen’s Avantra Q400 Biomarker Workstation and QPDx® BioChip are point-of-care tools. The protein diagnostics technology integrates automatic sample processing, reagent handling, biomarker detection, and analysis.

Avaxia’s program to develop a treatment agent for GI acute radiation syndrome is supported by a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) valued at $2.9 million over two years starting August 2011. The polyclonal anti-TNF antibody is being designed as a dried powder sachet that is stable at room temperature and is reconstituted immediately before use, where dosing begins as soon as is practicable after radiation exposure.